Tendulkar double century takes India to safety (Tea report)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

COLOMBO - Sachin Tendulkar hit his fifth double cetury and test debutant Suresh Raina scored a ton as India made 589 for five and closed in on Sri Lanka’s mammoth first innings score of 642 for four declared, at tea on the fourth day of the second cricket Test here Thursday.

Tendulkar was unbeaten on 202 and put on 256 runs with Raina (120) for the fifth wicket that saw India sailing to safe shores at the Sinhalese Sports Club. Giving Tendulkar company at the tea break was India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on an unbeaten 50.

The 37-year-old Tendulkar endured hot and humid weather for his marathon innings that was studded with 23 boundaries and a six. Tendulkar reached his 200, in his 168th Test, with a flick off Ajantha Mendis for two runs. It was Tendulkar’s first double hundred in six years.

Resuming at the overnight score of 382 for four, India started cautiously as they needed 61 more runs to avoid the follow on.

The first four came from Tendulkar’s bat as he pushed debutant off spinner Suraj Randiv through the cover boundary and then Raina smacked the lanky bowler for a huge six over long off.

The 23-year-old Raina hit two sixes and 12 fours in his 228-ball knock and got to his century with a fluent off-drive off seamer Dammika Prasad that went for a four. Mendis picked up Raina with Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara taking a good catch at short-midwicket.

Tendulkar also equalled West Indian Brian Lara’s record of 19 scores of 150-plus. Australian legend Don Bradman did it on 18 occasions.

Prasad rattled Tendulkar with a short-pitched delivery that hit the batting maestro’s helmet and raced to the boundary.

will not be displayed